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Message from India – Get a Better Handle on Food

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Touch the Soil News #262 A metro area of some 1.5 million people, the city of Vijayawada, India has been recognized as a “Global City of the Future.” So what goes on in such a city so far away? For starters, they are encouraging “Terrace Organic Farming.” This is farming on terraces and rooftops. At a recent workshop, Mr. Rambabu, a former agricultural chemical consultant – turned organic – tells folks why they should change their source of fresh vegetables to their own enterprise. Mr. Rambabu explains that there is a widespread lack of knowledge among farmers in India relative to applying chemical-based fertilizers. This lack of knowledge is creating…

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Kelp4Less Product News – Discovering Kelp’s Secrets

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Touch the Soil News #143 The use of Kelp as a plant growth supplement has been documented back to Roman times. In the early days, folks would scavenge the beach for kelp washed ashore and work it into their fields nearby. In rather recent times (1979) it was discovered that high levels of biostimulants were present in the cells of fresh kelp. These biostimulants later became known as Auxin and Cytokinin. The Auxin compound was found to cause increased root development. The Cytokinin compound produces greater flower initiation and augments cell division. Kelp is rich in amino acids and is 28 percent minerals by weight – including a large number…

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The Lettuce Robot Has Arrived

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Touch the Soil News # 132 The most labor intensive crop is lettuce. One of the most labor intensive tasks in lettuce farming is thinning the lettuce plants early in the season. Once the lettuce takes stand, thinning gives the remaining lettuce plants room to grow and mature to market-size lettuce heads. Advanced Lettuce-thinning Robot Entrepreneur Jorge Heraud, from Salinas Valley in California founded Blue River Technology. The company invented what they call the LettuceBot. The LettuceBot can thin lettuce plants automatically and without labor. Consider that at the present, it takes about 50 farm laborers two days to thin a 15-acre lettuce field. The LettuceBot, using cutting edge robots,…

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